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Old 04-01-2011, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default Sanitation question

I've read alot on here about Starsan, and was wondering if anyone else was just using bleach, as I am. Is there any drawbacks to using bleach?

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Old 04-01-2011, 11:53 PM   #2
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I use it, drawback is that you have to rinse it and rinse it and rinse it and.....

Starsan is a no rinse so you just empty it out and rack onto the residue, try that with bleach and youll taste it.

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Old 04-01-2011, 11:54 PM   #3
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Using bleach you need to rinse it all off of whatever you treated/sanitized with it to remove the chlorine. Otherwise, it will F-up your brew (gives a nasty flavor that won't go away)...

StarSan is a no-rinse sanitizer, so you just mix it up to the correct concentration (easy to do since the container includes a way to measure for the amount you'll be mixing). Basically 1oz in 5 gallons of water. You simply dunk what you're sanitizing in it, or swirl it inside the item (for fermenters) and let it stay in contact for a minute, or two, and then drain/remove...

The foam created by StarSan is also no issue for the yeast (it's been mentioned that the yeast will actually eat it).

I would highly recommend using a no-rinse sanitizer (there are a couple of options) over bleach every time. I've been using it since my second batch and it's been working great. I even have about 3.75 gallons of it mixed up right now. I typically make 2.5-3.75 gallons at a time, keeping it in a covered container. This way, whenever I need to use some, it's already mixed up. It also makes it much easier on bottling day, since you have less work ahead of you to sanitize.

Another benefit to StarSan, IMO, is that you don't need to worry about color indicators for it's effectiveness. This is important for me, since I'm color blind. Plus, with StarSan, there are no harmful fumes produced by it. Unlike bleach...

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Old 04-02-2011, 12:03 AM   #4
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trying to remember, seems like i used bleach once a while a go (didn't want to wait for shipping) i think it was ok, like has been said, i rinsed A LOT! but i got my first bottle of starsan (was using some kinda powder before) and i have to say i love the stuff. really easy to use. losen the cap and squeeze, you can measure out a perfect ounce right in the container it comes in. and it mixes in water much easier than the powder did. concentrated so you get a bunch of uses out of one bottle. and i actually like the light smell it has to it. remindes me of lemon tea. i feel really good about my junk being sanitized after i use it. if your on the fence, just buy it. i love the stuff

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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:06 AM   #5
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i feel really good about my junk being sanitized after i use it. if your on the fence, just buy it. i love the stuff
You sanitize your JUNK with it?? That's hard core...
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:36 AM   #6
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I used bleach for years. Use a mild solution (about 2 tablespoons in 5 gallons). Rinse a couple of times with hot water and you are good to go. It has to be hot water; cold will not get the film off the surface.

I gave up brewing 10 years ago. I really think it was due to using bleach and the real hassle of soaking the bottles for 30 minutes and rinsing 60+ bottles in hot water every time I bottled. I'm back brewing now. I now use Idophor for bottling (a couple of cap fulls in a 5 gallons of water and dunk the bottles for 30 seconds - no rinse - real simple), I would not go back to bleach for bottling.

I still use bleach. I keep my fermenters filled with a mild solution when not in use, and run it through my hoses every time I transfer it to use a fermenter. Never have a contamination problem; keeps everything really clean. Obviously I rinse everything with hot water before I use it.

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Old 04-02-2011, 01:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
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You sanitize your JUNK with it?? That's hard core...
what can i say? i'm just that type of guy
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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
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The problem with using bleach on a regular basis, while at the same time using municipal water, certain minerals in whatever water you use and certain plastics, is that you could build up chloramines in your brewing systems, which could contribute to off flavors in your beer.

In some situations they work cumulatively by having little bits of chlorine in different parts of the brewing process that your beer may come in contact with, and it builds up and bammo plastic band aid flavor.

It's best to avoid chlorine as much as possible, and in the case of sanitizing ONLY in the most dire situations, like where you know for sure you have an infection.....we call it slash and burning.

I try to limit the amount of contact my gear comes to chlorine and chlorine products.

Chloramines are funny that way, some folks aren't affected, and in other situations the right combination causes issues.

And unfortunately my understanding is that folks have little control over is their setups can handle it. I've heard of folks being successful for years with it, then they replace one piece of gear like their autosiphon, or move and change water sources, or have new plumbing put in, and suddenly they have them now.

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